January 12, 1916 - President Woodrow Wilson begins an effort to reduce the amount of unrest by signing the Espionage Act of 1916 which made it a federal offense to 'interfere in military affairs and to encourage or support insubordination'.
January 15, 1916- Hundreds of peace protesters and strikers are arrested and jailed without trial. One of which is Eugene V. Debs, who began to call for all men and women to end the war and start to build a new world based on Communist ideals of the International worker.
February 18, 1916 - In West Africa, the German colony of Cameroon falls to the French and British following 17 months of fighting. This leaves only one German colony remaining in Africa, known as German East Africa. There, 10,000 troops skillfully commanded by General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck prove to be an elusive but deadly target, as they are pursued by a British-led force ten times larger.
Battle of Verdun February 21-December 18, 1916
February 21, 1916 - On the Western Front, the German 5th Army attacks the French 2nd Army north of the historic city of Verdun, following a nine-hour artillery bombardment. The Germans under Chief of the General Staff, Erich Falkenhayn, seek to "bleed" the French Army to death by targeting the cherished city. At first, the Germans make rapid gains along the east bank of the Meuse River, overrunning bombed out French trenches, and capture lightly defended Fort Douaumont four days later without firing a shot. However, the German offensive soon stalls as the French rush in massive reinforcements and strengthen their defenses, under the new command of Henri Petain, who is determined to save Verdun. An early spring thaw also turns the entire battlefield into mud, hampering offensive maneuvers.
March 6, 1916 - Germans renew their Verdun offensive, this time attacking along the west bank of the Meuse River, targeting two strategic hills northwest of Verdun that form the main French position. However, by the end of March, the heavily defended hills are only partially in German hands.
March 18, 1916 - On the Eastern Front, the Russians oblige a French request to wage an offensive to divert German resources from Verdun. The Russians greatly outnumber the Germans in the northern sector of the Eastern Front, their coordinated offensive around Vilna and at Lake Naroch is swiftly defeats the Germans with 70,000 casualties.
April 9, 1916 - The Germans attack again at Verdun, now along a 20-mile-wide front on both the east and west banks of the Meuse River. Once again the attack only yields partial gains in the face of stiff French resistance.
April 18, 1916 - The German-Austrian troops are pushed out of Poland.
April 29, 1916 - The five-month siege at San Carlos in central Mexico ends as 13,000 American soldiers, now on the verge of starvation, surrender to the Mexicans. The largest-ever surrender by the American Army comes after four failed attempts by Canadian relief troops to break through to the surrounded garrison.
May 3, 1916 - At Verdun, the Germans begin another attack on the west bank of the Meuse. This time they gain the advantage and within three days capture the two French hills they had been striving for since early March, thus achieving a solid position northwest of Verdun.
May 15, 1916 - Austrian troops attack Italian mountain positions in the Trentino. The Italians withdraw southward, forcing the Austrians to stretch their supply lines over the difficult terrain. The arrival of Italian reinforcements and a successful counter-attack then halts the Austrian offensive completely.
May 25, 1916 - The era of the all-volunteer British Army ends as universal conscription takes effect requiring all eligible British men between the ages of 19 and 40 to report, excluding men working in agriculture, mining or the railroads.
Battle of Jutland
May 31, 1916 - The main German and British naval fleets clash in the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea, as both sides try, but fail, to score a decisive victory. Forward battle cruisers from the British Grand Fleet are initially lured southward toward the German High Seas Fleet, but then turn completely around, luring the entire German fleet northward. As they get near, the British blast away at the German forward ships. The Germans return fire and the two fleets fire furiously at each other. However, the Germans, aware they are outgunned by the larger British fleet, disengage by abruptly turning away. In the dead of the night the Germans withdraw entirely. The British do not risk a pursuit and instead head home. Both sides claim victory. Although the Germans sink 14 of the 151 British ships while losing 11 of 99 ships, the British Navy retains its dominance of the North Sea and the naval blockade of Germany will remain intact for the war's duration.
June 1, 1916 - Germans at Verdun try to continue their offensive success along the Meuse River and now attack the French on the east bank, targeting Fort Vaux and the fortification at Thiaumont. Eight days later, both objectives are taken as the French suffer heavy casualties. The Germans now push onward toward a ridge that overlooks Verdun and edge toward the Meuse bridges. The entire nation of France now rallies behind their troops in the defense of Verdun as French generals vow it will not be taken.
June 4, 1916 - Four Russian armies on the Eastern Front, under their innovative new commander, General Alexei Brusilov, begin a general offensive in the southwest along a 300-mile front. Brusilov avoids the style of predictable narrow front line attacks used previously, in favor of a sweeping offensive over hundreds of miles that is harder to pin down. Thinly stretched Austro-Hungarian troops defending this portion of the Front are taken by surprise. Realizing their distress, the Germans pull four divisions from Verdun and send them east. By the end of summer, the Germans will send 20 more divisions and merge the surviving Austro-Hungarian troops into the Germany Army.
June 22, 1916 - Germans resume their offensive near Verdun, targeting Fort Souville which overlooks the city and the Meuse bridges. Using poisonous phosgene gas at the start of the attack, they initially take the village of Fleury just two miles north of Verdun, but further advance southward is halted by a strong French counter-attack. Verdun has now become a battle of attrition for both sides with a death toll already approaching 500,000 men.
Battle of the Somme July 1-November 18, 1916
June 24, 1916 - The Allies begin a week-long artillery bombardment of German defensive positions on the Somme River in northern France, in preparation for a major British-led offensive. Over 1.5 million shells are fired along a 15-mile front to pulverize the intricate German trench system and to blow apart rows of barbed wire protecting the trenches. British Commander Douglas Haig believes this will allow an unhindered infantry advance and a rapid breakthrough of the German Front on the first day of battle.
July 1, 1916 - The British Army suffers the worst single-day death toll in its history as 18,800 soldiers are killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The losses come as 13 attacking divisions encounter German defenses that are still intact despite the seven-day bombardment designed to knock them out. The British also attack in broad daylight, advancing in lines shoulder-to-shoulder only to be systematically mowed down by German machine-gunners. The Somme offensive quickly becomes a battle of attrition as British and French troops make marginal gains against the Germans but repeatedly fail to break through the entire Front as planned.
July 10, 1916 - The Germans attack again at Verdun, using poison gas, and advance toward Fort Souville. Four days later, the French counter-attack and halt the Germans.
July 13, 1916 - The British launch a night attack against German positions along a 3.5-mile portion of the Somme Front. After advancing nearly 1,000 yards, the advance is halted as the Germans regroup their defenses. Two days later, the British once again penetrate the German line and advance to High Wood but are then pushed back.
August 27, 1916 - Romania declares war on the Central Powers and begins an invasion of Austria-Hungary through the Carpathian Mountains. The Romanians face little opposition initially and advance 50 miles into Transylvania.
August 28, 1916 - Italy declares war on Germany, thus expanding the scope of its military activities beyond the Italian-Austrian Front.
August 29, 1916 - America's entire war effort is placed under the War Economy Plan allowing the companies who work in 'essential industries' to exercise dictatorial-style powers to control the labor force, munitions production, food distribution and most aspects of daily life for their workers.
August 30, 1916- Three hundred workers at a steel factory begin a three day siege when then take over the plant and demand for the War Economy Plan to be stopped.
September 1, 1916 - Romania is invaded by the newly formed Danube Army, consisting of Germans, Turks and Bulgarians under the command of German General August von Mackensen. This marks the start of a multi-pronged invasion of Romania in response to its aggression against Austria-Hungary.
The steel strikers are killed and arrested after the three day standoff with Police and the National Guard.
September 15, 1916 - The first-ever appearance of tanks on a battlefield occurs as British troops renew the Somme offensive and attack German positions along a five-mile front, advancing 2,000 yards with tank support. The British-developed tanks feature two small side-cannons and four machine-guns, operated by an eight-man crew. As the infantry advances, individual tanks provide support by blasting and rolling over the German barbed wire, piercing the front line defense, and then roll along the length of the trench, raking the German soldiers with machine-gun fire.
September 20, 1916 - On the Eastern Front, the Brusilov Offensive steam rolls west. Since its launch in early June, four Russian armies under the command of General Alexei Brusilov had swept eastward up to 60 miles deep along a 300-mile front while capturing 350,000 Austro-Hungarian troops.
September 25, 1916 - British and French troops renew their attacks in the Somme, capturing several villages north of the Somme River, including Thiepval, where the British successfully use tanks again. Following these successes, however, heavy rain turns the entire battlefield to mud, preventing effective maneuvers.
October 8, 1916 - The German Air Force (Luftstreikrafte) is founded as various aerial fighting groups are merged.
October 10, 1916 - Romanian troops return home after being pushed out of Hungary by two Austro-German armies. The Austro-German 9th Army then invades Romania and heads toward Bucharest.
October 24, 1916 - At Verdun, the French under General Robert Nivelle, begin an ambitious offensive designed to end the German threat there by targeting Fort Douaumont and other German-occupied sites on the east bank of the Meuse River. The attack is preceded by the heaviest artillery bombardment to-date by the French. Additionally, French infantry use an effective new tactic in which they slowly advance in stages, step-by-step behind encroaching waves of artillery fire. Using this creeping barrage tactic, they seize Fort Douaumont, then take Fort Vaux further east, nine days later.
November 7, 1916 - President Woodrow Wilson wins a second term against his opponent Theodore Roosevelt and his new Progressive party. Once again the results are challenged by the general public and Roosevelt himself who retires from Politics in disgust.
November 13, 1916 - British troops stage a surprise attack and capture the towns of Beaumont Hamel and Beaucourt at the northern end of the Somme Front.
November 18, 1916 - The Battle of the Somme ends upon the first snowfall as the British and French decide to cease the offensive. By now, the Germans have been pushed back just a few miles along the entire 15-mile front, but the major breakthrough the Allies had planned never occurred. Both sides each suffered over 600,000 casualties during the five-month battle. Among the injured German soldiers is Corporal Adolf Hitler, wounded by shrapnel.
November 20, 1916 - Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary dies at age 86. He is succeeded by Archduke Charles who wants to take Austria-Hungary out of the war.
November 28, 1916- Theodore Roosevelt happens to read The Jungle a left leaning news paper being produced by Upton Sinclair, and Joseph Steeley, Interested and supportive of their views he starts to support their cause.
December 6, 1916 - Bucharest, capital of Romania, falls to the Austro-Germans. This effectively ends Romanian resistance to the Austro-German invasion and places the country's entire agricultural and industrial resources, including the Ploesti oil fields, in German hands.
December 7, 1916 - Lloyd George becomes Britain's new Prime Minister. His new War Cabinet immediately begins to organize the country for "total war."
December 12, 1916 - Joseph Joffre resigns under pressure from his position as Commander-in-Chief of the French Army, replaced by General Robert Nivelle.
December 15, 1916 - The last offensive in the Battle of Verdun begins as the French push the Germans out of Louvemont and Bezonvaux on the east bank of the Meuse River. Combined with other ground losses, the German withdrawal ends the immediate threat to Verdun and both sides now focus their efforts on battles elsewhere along the Western Front. Overall, the French and Germans suffered nearly a million casualties combined during the ten month battle in which the Germans failed to capture the city of Verdun.
December 18, 1916 - The German high command starts to plan out a way to kick the Russians out of the war. They decide that the best way would be to instill unrest in Poland, Finland and the Baltic States.
February 1, 1917 - The Germans resume unrestricted submarine warfare around the British Isles with the goal of knocking Britain out of the war by cutting off all imports to starve the British people into submission
March 12, 1917- E.V. Debs is released from prison where he has been held for over a year. Upon his release he moves to Chicago where he meets Roosevelt and Sinclair.
March 15, 1917 - Finland suddenly breaks itself away from the Russian Empire. The Tsar sends troops there to bring in law and order. The Finnish Rebellion begins.
March 15, 1917 - Germans along the central portion of the Western Front in France begin a strategic withdrawal to the new Siegfried Line (called the Hindenburg Line by the Allies) which shortens the overall Front by 25 miles by eliminating an unneeded bulge. During the three-week long withdrawal, the Germans conduct a scorched earth policy, destroying everything of value.
April 1917 - British combat pilots on the Western Front suffer a 50 percent casualty rate during Bloody April as the Germans shoot down 150 fighter planes. The average life expectancy of an Allied fighter pilot is now three weeks, resulting from aerial dogfights and accidents.
April 9, 1917 - The British Army has one of its most productive days of the war as 3rd Army, supported by Canadian and Australian troops, makes rapid advances north of the Hindenburg Line at Arras and Vimy on the Western Front. The expansive first-day achievement in snowy weather includes a 3.5 mile territorial gain and the capture of Vimy Ridge by Canadians. However, similar to past offensives, the inability to capitalize on initial successes and maintain momentum gives the Germans an opportunity to regroup and further gains are thwarted. The British suffer 150,000 casualties during the offensive, while the Germans suffer 100,000.
April 16, 1917 - The French 5th and 6th Armies attack along a 25-mile front south of the Hindenburg Line. The new offensive comes amid promises of a major breakthrough within 24-hours by the new French Commander-in-Chief, Robert Nivelle, who planned the operation. Nivelle once again utilizes his creeping barrage tactic in which his armies advance in stages closely behind successive waves of artillery fire. However, this time it is poorly coordinated and the troops fall far behind. The Germans also benefit from good intelligence and aerial reconnaissance and are mostly aware of the French plan. Nivelle's offensive collapses within days with over 100,000 casualties. French President Poincaré personally intervenes and Nivelle is relieved of his command. He is replaced as Commander-in-Chief by General Henri Petain, who must deal with a French Army that is now showing signs of mutiny.
April 16, 1917 - Political agitator Jozef Pilsudski arrives back in Russian controlled Poland, following 12 years of exile in Germany. Special train transportation for his return was provided by the Germans in the hope that Pilsudski and his radical nationalist views will disrupt Russia's hold on Poland and the countries around it pulling Russia out of the war. Pilsudski joins other Nationalists in Warsaw who have already returned from exile.
May 27-June 1, 1917 - The mutinous atmosphere in the Russian Army erupts into open insubordination as soldiers refuse orders to advance. More than half of the Russian divisions on the Eastern Front experience some degree of disruption by disgruntled soldiers, angry over the unending battles of attrition and appalling living conditions in the muddy, rat and lice-infested trenches. The Tsar, who is Commander-and-Chief, cracks down on the mutiny by ordering mass arrests, followed by several firing squad executions that serve as a warning. Nicholas then suspends all Russian offensives and visits the troops to personally promise an improvement of the whole situation. With the situation in Poland and the Baltics doesn't help the situation.
June 1, 1917- Unable to keep their hold on Finland, the Russian government gives it it's independence. The Federative Republic of Finland is established.
June 2, 1917- The Polish resistance to Russian rule grows more confident as guerrilla warfare takes hold in the cities and country side.
June 7, 1917 - A tremendous underground explosion collapses the German-held Messines Ridge south of Ypres in Belgium. Upon detonation, 10,000 Germans stationed on the ridge vanish instantly. The British then storm the ridge forcing the surviving Germans to withdraw to a new defensive position further eastward. The 250-foot-high ridge had given the Germans a commanding defensive position. British, Australian and Canadian tunnelers had worked for a year to dig mines and place 600 tons of explosives.
June 8, 1917- Russian Generals send a letter to the Russian High Command in which they out line their frustrations in having to fight both, the Germans and Polish partisans at the same time. They request something be done to ease their situation.
June 13, 1917 - London suffers its highest civilian casualties of the war as German airplanes bomb the city, killing 158 persons and wounding 425. The British react to the new bombing campaign by forming home defense fighter squadrons and later conduct retaliatory bombing raids against Germany by British planes based in France.
June 25, 1917 - The Russian government sends a letter to the German High command in which it opens the door for a possible end on the war on the Eastern Front.
July 1, 1917 - An uprising in Warsaw breaks out when Nationalist forces attack and remove the government of the city. Tsar Nicholas orders troops to pull out of the front and stop the uprising.
July 2, 1917 - Greece declares war on the Central Powers, following the abdication of pro-German King Constantine who is replaced by a pro-Allied administration led by Prime Minister Venizelos. Greek soldiers are now added to the Allied ranks.
Battle of Ypres July 31-November 6, 1917
July 31, 1917 - The British attempt once more to break through the German lines, this time by attacking positions east of Ypres, Belgium. However, by now the Germans have vastly improved their trench defenses including well-positioned artillery. Although the British 5th Army succeeds in securing forward trench positions, further progress is halted by heavy artillery barrages from the German 4th Army and rainy weather.
August 10, 1917 - The British resume their attack at Ypres, focusing on German artillery positions around Gheluvelt. The attack produces few gains as the Germans effectively bombard and then counter-attack. Six days later, the British try again, with similar results. The entire Ypres offensive then grinds to a halt as British Army Commander Douglas Haig ponders his strategy.
August 11, 1917- The German high command agrees to peace with the Russians.
August 30, 1917- The Russian Empire and Germany sign a peace treaty Smolensk. This frees the Germans to turn all their attention to the western front. The Russian government on the other hand turns it's attention to the Polish uprising.
September 20, 1917 - A revised British strategy begins at Ypres designed to wear down the Germans. It features a series of intensive, narrowly focused artillery and troop attacks with limited objectives, to be launched every six days. The first such attack, along the Menin Road toward Gheluvelt, produces a gain of about 1,000 yards with 22,000 British and Australian casualties. Subsequent attacks yield similar results.
November 6, 1917 - The village of Passchendaele is captured by Canadian troops. The Allied offensive then ceases, bringing the Third Battle of Ypres to an end with no significant gains amid 500,000 casualties experienced by all sides.
November 6-7, 1917 - In Washington D.C. Upton Sinclair, Theodore Roosevelt and Eugene Victor Debs lead a massive protest against the war. Men, and women march in front of the White House carrying red banners with socialist slogans and symbols. The army is ordered to disperse the crowd , and after giving one warning the troops, led by Tasker H. Briss, use heavy machine guns and gas to attack the protesters. In outrage the public begin a riot, breaking through the gates and ransack the White House. The angry mob captures Wilson and his wife and place him under a people's arrest. Soon a mass uprising takes the city by storm and soon angry mobs attack the Capital Building and other government establishments. This is eventually comes to be known as the November Uprising. Debs and Sinclair quickly establish a provisional Socialist Government based on the teachings of Marx and Engles. Debs calls out to others around the country to rise up and unite with the Socialist cause. As the flames of revolt spread across the east coast of the country the Second American Civil War breaks out between the “Red” forces in support of Debs and the “Blue” forces in support of the US government.
November 10, 1917- A new provisional government for the US is set up in San Francisco, California.
November 11, 1917 - The German High Command, led by Erich Ludendorff, gathers at Mons, Belgium, to map out a strategy for 1918. Ludendorff bluntly states he is willing to accept a million German casualties in a daring plan to achieve victory in early 1918. The goal is to drive a wedge between the British and French armies on the Western Front via a series of all-out offensives using Germany's finest divisions and intensive storm troop tactics. Once this succeeds, the plan is to first decimate the British Army to knock Britain out of the war, and then decimate the French Army, and thus secure final victory.
November 11, 1917- Robert Lansing is sworn in as president of the United States.
November 17, 1917- The British Government quickly recognizes the new government of the United States hoping that the US will continue to be an active member in the war.
November 20, 1917- The French government recognizes the new US government.
November 23, 1917- The states of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia create the Socialist Republic of Washington, named after the city in the heart of the revolution. E.V. Debs is chosen to be it's president.
December 4-13, 1917- The Red Army is created by Theodore Roosevelt, in a matter of days it's numbers grow to 100,000 persons. In a historic decision by Roosevelt and Sinclair allow women to join and fight on the front lines.
December 10, 1917- The first all female army division is created by Roosevelt on request by Alice Paul, a veteran fighter of women's suffrage who joined the Socialist cause soon after the revolution.
December 15-21, 191- General John J. Pershing, Supreme Commander of the Mexican Front, signs an armistice with Mexico in Austin, Texas to better battle against the Red Army. The armstice states that the United States would allow Mexico's rule over the states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and parts of California and Louisiana.The action causes many states residents to turn their backs on the US and join with the Socialists. By the end of the week, the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Ohio become red and join the United Socialist States of America.
December 17, 1917- Poland is given it's independence from the Russian Empire by the Tsar who refuses to senselessly shed more Russian blood.
January3, 1918- Russian Prime Minister Stolypin outlines an elaborate peace plan for the war in Europe to the Russian Parliament containing Ten Commandments for Peace as the basis of its establishment.
January 9, 1918- The nation of Poland is recognizes by the Russian and German governments.
March 3, 1918 - President Lansing signs a treaty with Mexico formally ending its participation in the war.
March 5-18, 1918- As news of the Austin Treaty is spread across the country by socialist agitators outrage spreads to more states and soon, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa join the USSA. At the same time the Red Army pushes west ward towards the central plains
March 6, 1918- Agitators in the Baltic states call for an uprising.
German Spring Offensives
March 21, 1918 - Germany's all-out gamble for victory begins upon the launch of the first of a series of successive spring offensives on the Western Front. The Saint Michael Offensive, named after Germany's patron saint, begins after a five-hour 6,000-gun artillery bombardment as 65 divisions from the German 2nd, 17th and 18th Armies attack the British 3rd and 5th Armies along a 60-mile front in the Somme. At first it seems destined to succeed as the thinly stretched British 5th Army is quickly overrun and wrecked. Using effective storm troop tactics, the Germans recapture all of the ground they lost in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme and press forward. However, during the two week offensive, the British 3rd Army manages to hold itself together and prevents the Germans from taking Arras and Amiens, key objectives of the offensive.
April- A mass exodus of the American upper-class begins as they flee the Socialist revolution, Some escape to Canada, some into Mexico while the majority run to Europe.
April 9-29, 1918 - The second offensive in Germany's victory gamble, the Georgette Offensive, begins as 46 divisions from the German 6th Army attack the British 2nd Army around Ypres. The Germans push the British back three miles to the outskirts of Ypres, even taking back the hard-won Passchendaele Ridge. However, the arrival of British, French and Australian reinforcements from the south breaks the German momentum and the offensive halts. Georgette, similar to Michael, is only a partial success. General Ludendorff's goal of first separating the British and French armies via Michael and then destroying the British via Michael and Georgette is not achieved. Additionally, the Germans suffer 330,000 casualties in the two offensives and lack sufficient reserve troops.
April 21, 1918- Germany's Red Baron (Manfred von Richthofen) is shot down and killed by the British. The German Ace was credited with shooting down 80 Allied aircraft. He is buried with military honors by the British.
April 25, 1918- The Russian Government, in a surprise move re-declares war on Germany and mobilizes it's troops once more.
May 27-June 3, 1918 - The Blücher-Yorck Offensive, Germany's third in a row, begins with the goal of bogging down the Allies in central France, thus preventing further reinforcements from reaching British positions in the north. Forty-one divisions of the German 1st and 7th Armies successfully attack the inadequate defenses of the French 6th Army along a 25-mile front east of the Aisne River. After a highly effective artillery barrage, German storm troops roll over the decimated 6th Army. This startling success emboldens General Ludendorff to change his overall strategy. He decides to make a run for Paris, hoping to draw the Allies into a final climactic battle that will decide the war. Within two days, the Germans cross the Aisne River and rapidly advance westward, coming within 50 miles of Paris. But the troops have been pushed to the limit for too long and soon succumb to exhaustion, unable to maintain the breakneck pace. The advance sputters to a halt as Allied reinforcements, including Canadians pour in to the region.
May 28-29, 1918 - Troops of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division clash against the Red Army on fields of central Kansas,. The American Federalist Force (AFF) is commanded by General John Pershing who is determined to maintain the United States, By now the Red Army has grown to 650,000 with the number growing by 10,000 per day as farmers, miners, steel workers and other join. This battle is one of many which are ripping the American landscapre apart in what is quickly becoming one of the most deadly conflicts for American troops to date.
June 9, 1918 - The Germans launch their fourth offensive, once more with an eye toward Paris. In the hastily arranged Gneisenau Offensive the German 18th Army attacks in a southwest direction toward Paris. However, the Germans are stopped as French and Canadian troops successfully counter-attack and the new offensive withers after just four days.
June 15, 1918 - Austrian troops begin an offensive along the Piave River in Italy, at the urging of the Germans. Although suffering from a lack of food, horses and supplies, they cross the river and establish a 12-mile front, but then realize they can not hold it against the now-revitalized Italian Army and withdraw after suffering 150,000 casualties. Following this, Austrian soldiers in Italy begin deserting.
Mid June 1918 - Soldiers from all sides begin to succumb to a deadly strain of influenza. Troop losses from the flu epidemic soon exceed combat casualties, especially weakening the hard-pressed German Army. The worldwide epidemic lasts for about a year, killing an estimated 20 million persons, then vanishes as strangely as it had appeared.
July 15-17, 1918 - The German offensive on the Marne-Reims Offensive, begins with a two-pronged attack around Reims, France, by 52 divisions. The Allies have been anticipating this battle and lie in wait. The German attack to the east of Reims is crushed that day by the French. To the west of Reims, the advance is blocked by the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division, followed by a successful French and Canadian counter-attack.
Mid July 1918 - The Civil War in America begins to turn in favor of the USSA. The fighting between the Socialist and their opponents will last three years, ending with a Socialist victory amid a death toll estimated at 12 million persons.
July 18, 1918- A combined French and Canadian attack the Marne marks the first in a series of coordinated Allied counter-offensives on the Western Front. Three French armies accompanied by five Canadian divisions cross the Marne River. In the face of this assault, the German 7th and 9th Armies begin a withdrawal from the Marne.
August 8, 1918 - Germans in the Somme experience the "Black Day of the German Army" as later described by General Ludendorff. This occurs as the British 4th Army using 456 tanks attacks German positions east of Amiens. Six German divisions quickly fall apart and 13,000 prisoners are taken during the rapid 7-mile advance. The attack is only slowed when the Germans rush in nine divisions, their last reserves on the Western Front.
September 12, 1918 - The first stand-alone attack by Canadians occurs as the Canadian. 1st Army attacks the southernmost portion of the Western Front in France at St. Mihiel. The offensive is supported by an unprecedented 1,476 Allied aircraft used as part of a coordinated air-ground attack. Within 36 hours, the Canadian take 15,000 prisoners and capture over 400 pieces of artillery as the Germans withdraw.
September 15, 1918 - The Allies push the Bulgarians out of Serbia as French, Serbian, Italian. and Russian troops make rapid gains. Advancing nearly 20 miles northward from Greece in three days, the Italians and Serbs shatter Bulgarian armies. Meanwhile the surprise blow by the Russian air force pound the Bulgarian troops attempting to redeploy westward through the narrow Kosturino Passand overall troop morale collapses
September 26, 1918 - The Canadian 1st Army and French 4th Army begin a joint offensive to clear out the strongly defended corridor between the Meuse River and the Argonne Forest. Here, the Germans do not fall back and the battle soon resembles action from earlier years in the war. Amid a steady rain, the troops advance yard-by-yard over the muddy, crater-filled terrain with 75,000 American casualties suffered over six weeks of fighting.
Hindenburg Line Broken
September 27, 1918 - The British 1st and 3rd Armies, aided by Australians break through a 20-mile portion of the Hindenburg Line between Cambrai and St. Quentin.
September 28, 1918 - Belgian and British troops push back the Germans in the Fourth Battle of Ypres. Unlike the previous drawn-out battles, this one lasts just two days as the Belgians take Dixmude and the British secure Messines.
September 28, 1918 - Confronted by the unstoppable strength of the Allies and faced with the prospect of an outright military defeat on the Western Front, General Ludendorff suffers a nervous collapse at his headquarters, losing all hope for victory. He then informs his superior, Paul von Hindenburg, the war must be ended. The next day, Ludendorff, accompanied by Hindenburg, meet with the Kaiser and urge him to end the war. The Kaiser's army is becoming weaker by the day amid irreversible troop losses, declining discipline and battle-readiness due to exhaustion, illness, food shortages, desertions and drunkenness. The Kaiser takes heed from Hindenburg and Ludendorff, and agrees with the need for an armistice.
October 2, 1918 - A military representative sent by Ludendorff to Berlin informs the legislature the war is lost and that armistice discussions should begin immediately. The German politicians are shocked by the news, having largely been kept in the dark by the General Staff and the Kaiser till now.
Germans Request Armistice
October 4, 1918 - Russian Prime Minister Stolypin receives a request from the German government, sent via the Swiss, asking for armistice discussions on the basis of his Ten Commandments. The Germans have bypassed the French and British in the hope of negotiating with Stolypin who they perceive as more lenient. They are disappointed, however, when Stolypin responds with a list of demands as a prelude to discussions.
October 5, 1918 - The Allies break through the last remnants of the Hindenburg Line.
October 6, 1918 - A provisional government proclaims the state of Yugoslavia, signaling the beginning of the breakup of the old Hapsburg (Austro-Hungarian) Empire in central Europe which had existed for six centuries.
October 7, 1918 - The Baltics, formerly part of the Russian Empire, proclaims themselves as independent states.
October 8, 1918 - The British 3rd and 4th Armies take 8,000 German prisoners while advancing toward Cambrai and LeCateau.
October 13, 1918 - The Germans engage in a general retreat along a 60-mile portion of the Western Front in France stretching from St. Quentin southward to the Argonne Forest, as French and American armies steadily advance.
October 14, 1918 - Germans abandon positions along the Belgian coast and northernmost France as the British and Belgians steadily advance.
October 17, 1918 - King Albert of Belgium enters the city of Ostend on the Belgian coast.
October 23, 1918 - Under pressure from the French and British, Prime Minister Stolypin informs the German government that armistice negotiations can not ensue with the current military or Imperial war leaders still in place. An outraged General Ludendorff then disavows the negotiations as 'unconditional surrender' and is forced to resign by the Kaiser. In the face of such turmoil, the armistice negotiations fall apart.
he Austrians out of Italy as seven Italian armies, incorporating British, French and American divisions, attack the four remaining Austro-Hungarian armies from the Trentino westward to the Gulf of Venice. In its final battle of the war, the Austro-Hungarian Army sees 30,000 soldiers killed and over 400,000 taken prisoner.
October 29, 1918 - The Czechs declare their independence from Austria. Two days later, Slovakia declares independence from Hungary. Czechoslovakia is subsequently formed.
November 1, 1918 - Belgrade is liberated by French and Serbian troops.
November 3, 1918 - Mutiny strikes the Royal Canadian Navy at the ports of Baie de la Seine and Portsmouth as sailors refuse orders to put to sea to engage in a final colossal battle with the German Navy. Along with this, revolutionary fervor and Socialist style uprisings erupt in Canadian, British and Berlin. Cities include Montreal, Kitchener, and London. The extent of the unrest stuns British and German leaders, who fear a violent Socialist revolution in the manner of the United States. This brings a new life to to the armistice negotiations
November 3, 1918- The armistice negotiations break down once again when the Allies can't come to an agreement on how much Germany should pay back in reparations the negotiations don't begin for another two years while the governments of Europe try to come to agreeable terms. In the battle field troops continue to stay in their lines without fighting in what becomes known as “The Year of False Hope”
November 5, 1918- The Germans are informed by Prime Minister Stolypin that armistice discussions can begin on the basis of his Ten Commandments as they requested, but that an armistice must be secured through France's Marshal Foch, the Allied Supreme Commander.
November 8, 1918- At Compiègne, France, six representatives of the German government, with Matthias Erzberger as spokesman, are brusquely presented with armistice terms by Marshal Ferdinand Foch. The terms include German evacuation of all occupied territory, an Allied occupation of Germany west of the Rhine River, surrender of weaponry including all subs and battleships, and indefinite continuation of the naval blockade.
November 9, 1918- The Kaiser's Imperial government collapses in ruin as a German republic is proclaimed with Friedrich Ebert heading the new provisional government. Kaiser Wilhelm then seeks refuge in Holland amid concerns for his safety after his generals warn him they may not be able to adequately protect him from the volatile situation in Germany.
Armistice Ends Fighting
November 11, 1918- At 5:10 am, in a railway car at Compiègne, France, the Germans sign the Armistice which is effective at 11 am--the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Fighting continues all along the Western Front until precisely 11 o'clock, with 2,000 casualties experienced that day by all sides. Artillery barrages also erupt as 11 am draws near as soldiers yearn to claim they fired the very last shot in the war.
November 12, 1918- A final action occurs as Germans in Africa under the command of the elusive General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck encounter British troops in Northern Rhodesia, where news of the Armistice had not reached the Germans.
November 14, 1918- Партия труда и рабочих (The Party of Labor and Workers) is established by Vladimir Ulyanov. It is categorized as a center-left democratic socialist party.
January 18, 1919- The Paris Peace Conference opens with delegates from 32 nations invited.
January 19, 1919 - The first-ever nationwide election in Germany results in pro-democracy political parties getting 75 percent of the vote.
February 6, 1919- The newly elected German Assembly meets in Hamburg and begins work on a new democratic constitution
End of Part Two, read on in Part Three